Irish ace is Mad for it at Ascot
AR MAD can floor Un De Sceaux in what looks set to be a shoot-out for the Clarence House Chase at Ascot.
The Irish raider is rightly favourite, but it is equally correct to assume we have not yet seen the best of the Gary Moore-trained Ar Mad, who still has the potential to be a real top-notcher.
His comeback to be fourth to Un De Sceaux in the Tingle Creek at Sandown was a fair effort after an absence of nearly 300 days, particularly as having led at a fierce gallop he clattered one at halfway.
Although he lost his place and looked well beaten with three to jump, he actually stayed on again from the last, leaving Moore to state afterwards he was the horse to take out of the race.
In fact, there was talk about supplementing the bold-jumping seven-year-old, whose only other defeat over fences came on his debut, for the King George as stamina is not seen as an issue, but common sense prevailed and he will go over a longer trip at some point in the future.
This is a furlong and a bit more than the Tingle Creek, anyway, and if his jumping holds up at pace like it did when he won the Henry VIII at Sandown last season, he can really put it up to Un De Sceaux and Ruby Walsh.
Jaleo is taken to make the most of a recovery mission in the Keltbray Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle.
Ben Pauling’s five-year-old was a strong fancy for the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton last weekend but crashed out at the first.
The four-year-old had made his seasonal return, and first start for the Bourton-on-the-Water handler since joining from John Ferguson, a winning one at Lingfield earlier this month.
He won with plenty in hand and, if avoiding a repeat of any mishaps, a 7lb hike may not be enough to stop this lightly-raced individual from banking a nice prize.
Kylemore Lough should give a good account in the bet365 Handicap Chase, which carries added prize-money of #70,000.
Kerry Lee’s pride and joy is a Grade One winner from a raid to Ireland last season that looks even better now than it did at the time, as Outlander, whom he beat a length at level weights, won the Lexus at Christmas and is in Gold Cup contention.
Lee’s runner has had just the two starts since that noteworthy success in
March, most recently when fifth in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham, where a mistake three out blighted his chance.
That he recovered to lead is to his credit, but connections are of the view that took the stuffing out of him.
There is clearly a valuable handicap in him off this mark of 155, which is handily a pound lower than at Cheltenham.